Realistic expectations: A guide to your first year at Laurier
Features Editor Bree Rody-Mantha showcases some of the various elements of a typical first year at Laurier. While all first years are different, some hurdles and challenges are almost impossible to avoid. Whether it’s feuds with roommates, academic struggles or the dreaded day when you realize that your favourite clothes no longer fit, first year is a year that you will never forget, no matter how much you wish you could.
Your parents drop you off for Orientation Week and you are immediate bombarded
by Ice Breakers. Who are these people, why are they singing and what made them so happy at 8 a.m.?
It’s been a long time since you last slept, but you’re having the time of your life. You don’t know the names of half the people you’re hanging out with and are too embarrassed to ask. At the Get Involved Fair, you sign up for everything, because you’re sure you’ll have time.
Your O-Week high is still strong. You feel extra-motivated to start your classes. You organize your backpack on the first day and even eat a healthy breakfast. You grab a seat near the front of the lecture hall in your first class. You have no idea that this is the last time you’ll feel so motivated.
Standing for three hours in line at the bookstore and emptying out your bank account on all your required readings have left you physically and mentally drained. You skip your Monday morning lecture “just this once.” You will never go again.
“Together forever” turns into “together until I can no longer afford to take the Greyhound and see you every weekend.” You break it off with your high school sweetheart over the phone.
Your first outing with your old friends is different for a reason you can’t quite figure out. All you know is that you are more political, louder and care less about what you look like.
You have officially given up on staying on top of your readings. As you stumble in drunk from a party, you remember an essay you have due in two days. You suddenly hate all your friends at other universities with a fall reading week.
A disturbingly high number of your floormates have already begun signing leases for next year. You hop on the bandwagon as well to avoid being that poor sucker living a full three blocks away from campus. You end up paying nearly $650 per month for a tiny corner of a house, but it’s better than living in Kitchener, right?
You glance at your assignment grades and reason that with a little effort, you can pull off a C. To commit fully to your final essays, you choose to not attend all fifteen of the ugly sweater parties you have been invited to. Maybe just ten.
It’s time to buckle down! Everything you’ve worked towards over the past semester has lead to this moment. You brew a pot of coffee. You take up permanent residence in the library. You pry your textbook open for the first time. After two hours of rigourous studying, you take a three-hour nap.
You hide your grades from your parents and take advantage of free food for several weeks. Every time you hang out with your friends you feel like you have less and less in common with them. You also wonder why your old TA hasn’t accepted your Facebook friend request yet.
Semester 2, Week 2
Your renewed interest in academics is cut short when you see signs of Winter Carnival around campus. It’s O-Week with alcohol — how can you lose?
You glance in the mirror and suddenly fail to recognize yourself under a flabby layer of dining hall chicken fingers and Wilf’s spinach dip. After a single, struggling hour at the gym, you reward yourself with a beer.
A group of females on your floor invites you to celebrate “anti-Valentines day,” a day in which women all over the world cry and moan because they are single.
You and your new friends head to Florida for the week on Mom and Dad’s dollar. Yes, you skipped all your readings, but they didn’t seriously expect you to do those, right?
You have three midterms. You kind of wish you had done your readings now.
After stretching every dollar in your account, you can no longer afford milk for your Kraft Dinner. In a desperate attempt to make a substitution, you add Bailey’s instead of milk. You will never speak of this abomination again.
Okay, it’s time to buckle down. Seriously. You can still pull off a respectable B average if you get perfect grades on every remaining assignment. You start to mark down due dates on your calendar and you realize that St. Patrick’s Day is this Friday. There goes that plan.
Your studying is disrupted quite often by the frequent move-outs. You reluctantly dismantle your wall of beer cans, which has unfortunately attracted a great deal of ants. As you pack up your room, you find several supplies you never even opened up. A floormate whom you never even conversed with invites you to her good-bye party. You attend. At some point, you do your exams.
You arrive home to find that you are no longer physically able to take any orders from your parents. You no longer recognize vegetables. Your dog no longer recognizes you. Now you just have to find a job.
Nevertheless, it’s been a triumphant year. You’ve got plenty of stories to tell your friends back home. You still have to figure out how to tell your parents you’ve changed your major. Your inbox is bursting full with unopened emails from clubs you signed up for and never met with. Oh, and that bird course you signed up for so you could slack? You failed it anyway.